ICELAND & IRELAND October 2014

After our last sojourn to Latin America, we thought it was time to head north for a change.
Over the years Iceland has come to our attention and Ireland was the last remaining unseen British Isle, so we combined the two. Iceland was particularly fun as we met old friends not seen for years and they had a 4WD to scout out Iceland's main attraction... it's back country.
We had about a week to explore the areas within a days reach of Reykjavik.

Of the dozen main attractions we saw, this is our take:

Blue Lagoon: If you like to lounge for hours in hot water don't miss it. Otherwise very interesting to look at if going by, or as an unusual lunch spot.
Pingvellir National Park: Definitely impressive in scale and interest. Scenic and educational.
Geysir Hot Springs: unfortunately passed by but quick look gave the impression of a miniature Yellowstone.
Hraunfossar & Barnafoss: Small and a long way out, but nice if going by.
Gullfoss: very impressive falls and setting. Worth stretching the legs for an hour or two.
Snaefellsjokull: Long drive but impressive area visually. Lots of hiking trails. A jaunt to the top of the Saxholl volcano is short and fun, then stop at the forlorn Malarrif light house and hike to the round black pebble beach. The little town of Bidur is home to the black church and it's impressive seaside mossy lava trail shouldn't be missed.

On the south coast:

Seljalandsfoss is worth a stop and hike around, especially being right off the road.
Skogar has a very nice museum with the Skogafloss falls right next door.

Island of Heimaey
is the Pompeii of the north with an amazing geologic history that almost destroyed it.
Lastly if you have the chance, don't miss an excursion into Landmannalaugar and the interior. Crossing the rivers was a little heart stopping at times, but the campground at the end was an oasis of expedition vehicls, hearty individuals and incredible trails into a geologic wonderland.